Gwyn Wheeler

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master Of Business Administration

Colleges & School

College Of Business And Management

First Advisor

Ralph J. Rich, Ed.D.

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Strategic planning; Real estate development


This research project is comprised of a detailed analysis of the strategic growth plan of a national real estate organization located in the Midwest to be called Mainland Properties Company, Inc. In 2013, the company announced a strategic plan to increase the number of apartment units developed annually by over 200% by the year 2018. The analysis was complete to answer the research question “Are the current strategic initiatives appropriate and being implemented successfully to accomplish the organization’s growth plans?” The goal of the project was to determine the effectiveness of the strategic planning process and discuss the appropriateness of the current strategic initiatives. To ascertain the appropriateness of these initiatives, an audit of the organization was conducted. This involved an evaluation of all aspects of Mainland’s internal environment and took into consideration many external factors. This environment includes human resources, development, construction, market research and information technology; the many departments that work together to accomplish the entitlements and permitting of the thousands of apartment units that Mainland develops each year. The audit of these departments was used to measure the health of the organization relative to each department’s ability to create value and enhance the competitive advantage of the organization. The research methodology used was primarily qualitative which allows for a thorough description of the situation. Internal data such as published strategic plans and major issues documents were reviewed as a primary data source. As a current employee of the organization, the researcher was also able to utilize personal observational research to formulate an analysis if the health of the organization. An ex post facto study was utilized in the evaluation of the organizations culture and productivity. The main performance areas researched were recruitment, retention, productivity, profitability, growth and reputation. The thematic analysis methodology was used to decipher a multitude of data gathered by the human resources department of this organization. The data is gathered through various means, including weekly anonymous surveys, challenge meetings and employee interviews. The organization uses this information in considering strategic choices and in the evaluation of the strategic plan. It is also extremely valuable in the evaluation of the organizations culture. Additional, secondary statistical data was collected from reliable publicly available sources. A thematic analysis framework provided a flexible means to describe patterns within the data set and assisted with determination of what is relevant to the research question. The researcher also employed personal judgement and assumptions in the research analysis. The data analyses lead to the selection of an alternative action that recommended reduction of the growth plan goals and incorporation additional strategic initiatives to strengthen the foundation of the organization. The critical results that steered the researcher to the alternative action included the inability to meet some of the organizations yearly goals, an indication of an employee retention problem, a growing negativity potentially linked to struggles with work life balance and a disconnection between strategic management and the information technology systems in the organization. The resulting recommendations for the organization were to improve retention and increase efficiency. Improving retention can be achieved through a culture of transformational leadership and enhanced employee engagement. Efficiency can be increased through effective use of technology and continuous improvement efforts. The culmination of the research project is an argument for an organization to balance the needs of the employees with the needs of the organization. Engagement and development of personnel should be in alignment with an organization’s strategic plan. This alignment will create a cohesive work environment for employees and contribute to overall success. Strong leadership can help energize amazing results even in challenging times. Mainland Properties has accumulated a significant amount of wisdom and know-how in the real estate development industry. The organization must continue to strive for improvement and increased efficiency. Their continued expertise will be invaluable in their pursuit of becoming a major national contender in real estate development.


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OCLC Number